Reflecting on Life with Psoriasis

Reflecting on Life with Psoriasis

What if I never treated my psoriasis? This is something I have thought about over the years. I have always had treatment for my disease, but spent over half of my life 70 to 80% covered in scales. It’s a very scary scenario to think about no treatment at all. Never the less I want to write about it to show how important it is to take care of yourself no matter the outcome.

I have always been covered from head to toe. As bad as my psoriasis once was; I can’t imagine seeing those big plaques covering me all on my whole body again. I would always do whatever I had to do so that no one ever saw the flakes falling from my clothes. It could be over 100 degrees outside and I would have on long sleeve shirts; depending on the severity of my skin there were days I had to wear an extra shirt and tie rubber bands at the wrists to stop the flakes from falling out. There was never a day that went by that I didn’t wear pantyhose to keep the scales a secret.

How do you see yourself?

When I would go to the doctor I would be ashamed as the doctor and nurses would look at my skin. My psoriasis was all over my body, I didn’t see myself happy at all. Over the years my self-image became distorted and very unhealthy for me. This all came from judgment being passed on by my co-workers, teachers, siblings, peers and people in authority. I remember always being sensitive to criticism and I made everything always about me and my condition. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect on the outside but I was falling apart on the inside. I couldn’t get it in my head that what I was thinking about myself could become a reality. Everything that was going through my head was manifesting itself in some way.

I now know that the way I see myself says a lot about my psychological adjustment and more importantly my interpersonal relations. It has taken me a lifetime to get my self-image right. It never dawned on me that my emotions and perceptions were influencing my thinking and behavior. All I could see were the flakes and scales on my skin; people pointing and staring; nothing else. I went into a shell. We should know that our behavior is a reflection of our thoughts. We never stop and think about what we think, how we think, and why we do what we do.

Being optimistic

I felt like I couldn’t live the simplistic life. Simple things become difficult. I still have psoriasis and the autoimmune disease which is part of me and stills shows up. I look at myself day by day and see every spot as a reminder of what my life has been. I also see what internal organs are affected by my psoriasis and the treatments that I have been put on.

People have told me how brave I am at enduring all that I have with this disease. I don’t feel brave at all. When I think of brave; I see school teachers; students; and firefighters. Anyone that is risking their lives to help others is brave to me. Psoriasis chose to attack me. It has robbed me of what I thought I knew about myself. I’m not brave, but I am strong. I wish I felt brave, but there are days I just want to remain hopeful that the treatment I am on keeps on working. There are many things I had to change, add the increase too. I feel like I let myself down on some days, the doctors let me down and even research has let me down.

This type of optimism, of entering a new treatment despite having been disappointed numerous times in the past, isn’t silly or naïve. It is courageous and brave. I can’t count the number of times that I have gone into a new therapy preparing myself for the therapy not to work because I couldn’t bear to think about getting my hopes up just to have them crushed again and again. Because of the times; we now have better treatments, better medications, and advanced research.

Psoriasis is more than a cosmetic issue. Left untreated, it can lead to serious medical complications.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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